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Detroit Institute of Arts to debut “Cultural Living Room” June 14 - Museum’s signature Kresge Court, front lawn to be transformed into community spaces

Thursday, March 28, 2013

(Detroit)—The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) will debut the first phase of its “Cultural Living Room” project, an initiative supported by ArtPlace America, on Friday, June 14. The project will provide the community with refreshed, comfortable spaces to relax, drink, eat, have a quick meeting or hang out with friends.

One of the museum’s most inviting spaces, Kresge Court, will close Tuesday, April 16, to undergo a makeover that includes new seating, ambient lighting and easy technology access for visitors. Light fare, coffee and cocktails will be available during public museum hours. Additionally, a new “cultural concierge” will be on hand to provide information on the DIA and Midtown happenings.

“We envision Kresge Court becoming a sort of town square, where people can gather informally,” said Graham W. J. Beal, DIA director. “The project will restore the dignity of Kresge Court and provide a comfortable place to sit, sip, and contemplate in one of this country’s finest interior spaces.”

Local designer Patrick Thompson was hired to help the museum rethink its indoor and outdoor spaces in collaboration with the DIA’s ArtPlace partners, including NBS/Steelcase, Midtown Detroit Inc., the Detroit Creative Corridor Center and Cultural Source.

The second phase of the project will begin this July and includes new seating on the south lawn and programming from July to September. The museum sees the lawn as a place to have innovative seasonal events, including new community-based programs and performances, and connections with local businesses, from food trucks to pop-up stores.

The project is made possible by a $268,500 grant from ArtPlace America, a new national collaboration of 11 major national and regional foundations, six of the nation’s largest banks, and eight federal agencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts, to accelerate creative placemaking across the United States. To date, ArtPlace has raised almost $50 million to work alongside federal and local governments to transform communities with strategic investments in the arts.

Hours and Admission
Museum hours are 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Tuesdays–Thursdays, 9 a.m.–10 p.m. Fridays, and 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors ages 62+, $4 for ages 6–17, and free for residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties and DIA members. For membership information, call 313-833-7971.


The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), one of the premier art museums in the United States, is home to more than 60,000 works that comprise a multicultural survey of human creativity from ancient times through the 21st century. From the first Van Gogh painting to enter a U.S. museum (Self-Portrait, 1887), to Diego Rivera's world-renowned Detroit Industry murals (1932–33), the DIA’s collection is known for its quality, range, and depth. The DIA’s mission is to create opportunities for all visitors to find personal meaning in art.

Programs are made possible with support from the City of Detroit and residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.

Contact: Pamela Marcil 313-833-7899